poem24 Jul 2017 08:00 am

Dug in under ice, rock,
where stars don’t twinkle,
but remain hard, cold, distant dots.

Look up: Io’s belching sulfur again—
droplets flung across the void,
caught by unseen winds,
rain against the surface.

Europa and Ganymede shoulder
into view, fleeting across the face
of the monster that chains us all.

Squint: you can just see auroras
dancing like ghosts, spirits, around
Ganymede, as the king’s tongue,
radiation-laden, licks his fleeing favorite.

His swollen red eye peers at us
as water-miner drones lift off,
returning to ships waiting in higher orbit.

Here, we’re far from his leering gaze,
his lecherous tongue, his groping gravity.
And yet, we never feel quite safe;
we’re trapped, like all his other lovers.

image by ESO/M. Kornmesser, downloaded from http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1615a/

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